Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Mississippi will enjoy plenty of representation in Super Bowl XLIX this Sunday. Several players on the roster played high school or college football in our state.
The Seattle Seahawks defense features former Mississippi State University linebacker K J Wright, who hails from Olive Branch. The fourth-year player out of MSU is one of the big-game stars on a defense full of stars. Wright could make a play that ends up winning the game for the Seahawks. He is fast enough to cover on passing plays and strong enough to make plays in the running game. He is a true three-down linebacker.
Joining Wright on the Seahawks roster is wide receiver Kevin Norwood who played college football at the University of Alabama but first made his name in D'Iberville. The Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson does have ties to our state. His father, Harry, was born in Jackson, and his grandfather Harrison coached basketball at Jackson State University.
While there are a few connections to our state with the Seahawks, the New England Patriots are loaded with players with ties to Mississippi.
One player who won't be in the game is running back Stevan Ridley who tore his MCL and ACL and is on injured reserve. Ridley was born in Natchez and played high school football at Trinity Episcopal before moving on to LSU.
If the game comes down to a field goal to win it for New England, then the Patriots hopes will rest on a Mississippian. Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who was a star soccer and football player at Madison Central High School before playing college football for the University of Memphis. Former Southern Miss linebacker Jamie Collins has shined since being drafted by the Patriots. Collins went Franklin County High School before becoming a Golden Eagle.
Much like Wright for the Seahawks, Collins in a true three-down linebacker. He can stop the run and cover on passing situations. Collins is also one of the best pass rushers New England.
Watch Super Bowl XLIX Feb. 1 on NBC.